Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Review: Heaven Adjacent

By Sara Steven

Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.

In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.

Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Reading through Roseanna’s experiences made me want to unplug. To walk away from the things we feel so attached to, the lifestyle we feel we can’t survive without. I can remember a time when my life wasn’t dictated by emails or social media, the ding of a notification on my cell phone. When waiting for a loved one’s letter was the highlight of my day, or hearing someone’s voice over a tinny phone line filled my soul with love and appreciation.

But it’s never easy. I really appreciate how honest and real Roseanna is, in her quest to let go of her attachments and go in peace. While she’s trying to find a new norm, we discover that she’s also finding a new norm within her psyche. There are struggles and gains to be made when you’re trying find out who you really are without society’s views on that, without your own ideas and opinions that are now changing and evolving. It was beautifully told and masterfully woven in, so the changes we see in Roseanna are subtle and raw and we feel as though we’re going through those changes with her. That, her quest has given us a new perspective on how we’re living our own lives.

There was so much I could identify with. Roseanna’s need to be. Her relationships, particularly the dynamic with her son. The need to be left alone, but not really. The search for balance in an otherwise chaotic world, and how, even in its most simplistic form, life can still throw wrenches into plans, since ultimately, it really is all relative. And, that the people who enter your world, the ones you would have never counted on, end up becoming the people you count on the most, changing your life in ways you'd never imagined, in the best and worst ways possible.

Thanks to Little Bird Publicity  for the book in exchange for an honest review. Purchase Heaven Adjacent here.

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